Why I’m Excited For The Force Awakens

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     I’ve watched Star Wars my entire life.  It’s very much apart of me as a person, and as a geek. After the prequel trilogy, George Lucas announced that that was it, the end of the series as we knew it. This came as a great shock, since we were always lead to believe that there were going to be nine films in the saga (twelve by some reports). After the bitter aftertaste that was the prequels, we as a fandom were ready to move on and put the previous six years behind us. Then 2012 happened, LucasArts had been acquired by Disney, and that sequel trilogy that we gave up on was now going to finally happen.
     And no one could give a fuck.
     I get it. I’m very understanding of the disappointment that the prequels represent, but is it enough to abandon a lifelong fandom? A resounding yes is what I always heard. So now I present to you, why I’m excited, why my faith has been renewed, and with all due respect, you should be too.
     First, Lucas is not involved at all in this sequel trilogy. That alone made me jump for joy. The man is a visionary, with an imagination to match, but there was no love, heart, or soul in the prequels. It’s been speculated that Lucas had surrounded himself with a bunch of Yes Men, and a shit load of bad ideas came out with no restraint. He always wanted to so other types of movies, but when you get pestered enough, you go back to the well to shut the fans up. And holy shit, that didn’t happen. I always thought that if he didn’t want to do them, give them to someone who does. Now, that time has come.
     When I first heard that JJ Abrams was going to direct Episode VII, I was a bit upset for the same reason everyone was: he directed a Star Trek movie. For those who don’t know, Trekkers and Star Wars Geeks have never gotten along. It’s like the Bloods and the Crips but with costumes and plastic props. It’s a rivalry for the ages. The fact that some Hollywood mother fucker dare cross the sacred line of fandom was unspeakable. How dare he?! I looked into this and he turned it down multiple times because he’s a huge fan and didn’t want to fuck it up. But what was it that put me at ease with his selection? The lack of lens flares, and practical effects to match the look of the original trilogy. Then when word came out that the Millennium Falcon would be an actual set, one you could actually step in, then I was a bit more at peace.
     Here’s what I don’t get: How can a Star Wars fan not be excited to see Luke, Han, and Leia again? To see what they’ve been up to for the past 30 years? When I saw the first footage and the Falcon was flying high again, I shed such tears of joy. Deep down, if you look hard enough, this is what we’ve always wanted. An actual star war, not trade embargoes, and senate hearings. There’s a lot of speculation on the story, and it’s just enough for me to wonder how our old friends tie into the whole thing.
     I’ve been saving the best for last. This is the reason that made me go, “I’m so fucking there!” The first screenwriter on the project based his screenplay on Lucas’s outline. Apparently this was shitty enough to make Abrams throw it out, and start from scratch with another screenwriter. That man is Lawrence Kasdan. If you don’t recognize the name he wrote Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yes, he wrote some of the best entries in those respective franchises. My heart leapt into my chest, and made me realize that Abrams is pulling out the big guns, he’s determined to give us a great  Star Wars movie.
     What I came to realize is that this is going to be the first Star Wars movie made by a fanboy. Abrams, like a lot of us, grew up with the series, and recognizes it’s importance. The man is one of us, and when he brought on Kasdan, that sealed it for me. This is going to be something special. I recognize the skepticism that a lot of you have, and that’s OK. But what I’m trying to impart is that I don’t want to see any of you miss out on something because the last guy didn’t give a shit. That was then. This is now. Give the new guy a chance. He might’ve just made your favorite Star Wars film.

What I Expect From The New Twin Peaks (Part III)

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     I had to gives this a lot of thought. Anyone who’s familiar with the works of David Lynch knows that you can expect the unexpected. I can’t help but have expectations for what’s in store of this continuation, so giving some broad thoughts on the matter I have just a short list of things that I want to see. Even if it doesn’t give me all that I want, I’ll be alright with that, because at least we’ll see new episodes for roughly 18 weeks. Better than nothing right?
     Let’s get the big motherfucker out of the way: what the fuck has happened to Dale over the past 25 years? When we last saw him he was in the Black Lodge with Bob having escaped. I can’t begin to fathom what Dale has been going through all this time. Does he get out? If he does, then how? The possibilities are endless, and knowing Lynch’s style, we’re not going to get an answer if they’re going to go that route. For now, it’s fun to wonder and get some some semblance of an answer soon.
     Another crucial one is what has been happen in Twin Peaks for the past 25 years? I’ve read reports that this is going to be a major factor in the episodes to come, and that there will be a book written by co-creator Mark Frost that details the 25 year history of the town. Think about it, what has Harry been up to? Shelly? Did Audrey survive?! Most could say that casting announcements spoil who lived and died in the finale, but this is David Lynch, dreams and visions play a huge role in his storytelling. How would Twin Peaks even manage as a town in the 21st century? It’s a small rural town, do they even have a Starbucks?
     Believe it or not, that’s pretty much it for me. I’m trying not have unrealistic expectations, and with the scare last month that Lynch wasn’t returning to direct, my enthusiasm had waned, and my mind is still trying to process that he’s back with 18 episodes instead of the original 9 that had been previously announced. I guess now it’s time to wait on a trailer to see if they’re recapturing the look of the first series or if this is going to be some new kind of monster. It’s going to be the latter. Now, go have yourself a damn fine cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie. Coop would.

In Defense Of: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Part II)

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     As much of a fan you are of Twin Peaks, there’s a chance you saw this and exclaimed, “Fuck you, David Lynch!” And you’d be right to. Imagine that you just saw that jaw dropping final episode, wondering the hell just happened and they announce a movie after the cancelation. It is a cause to rejoice, until you realize that it’s not going to tackle what happened after. You’re going to find out happened to Laura Palmer in the week leading up to her murder. But you don’t want to know that, you want to know what happened to Dale and the Black Lodge goddamit!!!
     I get it, believe me, I fucking get it. But now it’s been 23 years, it’s time to actually look at the movie. And most of the stuff that fans hate about the movie, are the reasons that I love it. The tone of the movie is almost the exact opposite of the show. The show was quirky, a bit strange with that silly sense of humor. The movie is a damn horror story. For a lot of people, this tonal difference was enough to shrug off the film. I just see it as this is Twin Peaks through Laura’s eyes. She’s seeing the town as this evil, soulless place where nobody can hear her cries for help. She is losing her mind (much like Lynch’s characters in Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive) and she acts out in promiscuous ways because of what’s happening at home. As anyone who’s seen the show knows that this movie is tackling issues that are uncomfortable to see on screen, and that’s putting it mildly.
     Here’s one I get. The limited role that Dale plays in the story. While this takes place before Dale ever set foot in Twin Peaks, it does cover the Teresa Banks murder that Dale had a part in, but with Agent Desmond on the case. I’m not going to get into the behind the scenes stuff, but sometimes shit happens and you got to make due. What’s interesting though, is that because Dale makes sporadic appearances, along with Annie, it does answer what really happened at the end of the finale. It’s an answer that sucks ass, but it’s there and makes us want more.
     I guess the thing that really made the movie resonate with me is the performance of Sheryl Lee as Laura. If you just focus on the surrealism of the piece, it’s easy to miss how incredible her performance is. As I pointed out earlier, this character is losing her mind, and Lynch is much more interested in her psychology rather than the mythology of the show, and in some way, I totally respect that. If the movie were the final say in this tale of Twin Peaks, then it tries to end on a note of peace coming from death, that she’s truly among the angels. It isn’t conventional, but when have you ever seen a conventional David Lynch story? (Except The Straight Story, that one freaked me out because it’s normal.)
     After I first saw Fire Walk With Me, I just sat there in stunned, heartbroken silence for a good minute. I didn’t realize that this story needed to be told, and with all its crazy shit, it’s far too real and devastating to watch. That I can understand people not liking the movie, because it’s a subject that no one wants to be confronted with. In looking at it from that limited perspective, this is Lynch’s most fearless work, without the interference of a network, or standards and practices. Ironically, removing it from your mind as apart of Twin Peaks, causes one to see it on its own merits of a poor girl losing her mind, crying for help and no one listened.  

Why I Love Twin Peaks (Part I)

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     I always remember growing up hearing how Twin Peaks was mentioned as such the strangest of shows. It was the first time I heard the term Cult Show. That’s a pretty succinct way of nailing that down. As there weren’t many shows available on VHS, I didn’t really get much of a chance to watch it. Until 2001, when the first season was released. Then in 2007, the entire series was bestowed upon us (season 2 wasn’t released till then as well), and I was finally able to find out the truth about this strange, fucked up little town. The title sequence, while a bit long, mischievously misleads the audience into thinking it’s a sweet, small town drama. Oh shit, this is not that show. I came to realize that the title sequence was a way to troll prime time audiences into watching it. Brilliant. Then as the show unfolds, the sequence gets all the more creepy. The theme song seems to long for a peace that the town will never achieve again. And all because of the death of a teenage girl named Laura Palmer.
     On the show Laura Palmer comes off as more of a mythic figure.  Her death had sent shockwaves through out the town. When the principal of the school ends the school day because of a student’s death, it leaves a lot to the imagination that one person could affect so many people, classmates and adults alike. That’s the draw, the lynchpin to the whole thing. Her death begins the unraveling of this town’s darkest secrets. The crafting of this simple mythology, among the mundane dealings of life, manages to cast a spell that is hard to shake. The more and you uncover the truth of who Laura was and what shady shit she was up to, you will never be able to forget it.
     In a sea of dark surrealistic moments comes FBI Agent Dale Cooper. In true David Lynch fashion, he exists as our way in, our eyes and ears in a style befitting Raymond Chandler. The man loves pies and a damn fine cup of coffee, with an infectious sunny disposition. It’s through him that we see the Red Room, and get to meet The Man From Another Place, which is where shit starts to get really fucking crazy. I don’t want to put anyone off, but good luck trying to explain Bob as a concept and a character. Where Dale meets Laura in a dream and she tells him who killed her. Granted, he forgets what she says, but it is a great launching point for the character. Cooper is such a sweet, lovable character, that the fate that befalls him in the finale caused fans to get angry, clamoring for some sort of resolution, one we never thought we’d get.
     I feel like I’m short changing the residents of this town, and they are aplenty. Yes, there is the infamous Log Lady (she walks around with a log that claims to be sentient), Sheriff Harry S. Truman, the grounded reality of the show, Deputy Andy, Audrey, Shelly and Leo, Laura’s parents, Jimmy, Bobby, you’re getting the picture. They all play a part in the mythology, they all have in some sort of away, could be the responsible one in Laura’s death. I might have said too much, or nothing at all…
     One thing that I’ve heard that some fans of the show were not happy with was the fact that we do find out who killed Laura. The original intention of creators David Lynch and Mark Frost was to never reveal who was her killer. They always knew who did it, they just didn’t want to tell you who it was. While that alone is intriguing to me, and the revelation did help cause the show to be canceled, it still plays as a great piece of surrealism. It’s still one of my favorite episodes. The reason to keep watching after that, is that there’s something nefarious lurking beneath the town, the truth about the Black Lodge. And then it’s canceled.
     After 8 years of thinking, “Well, that’s that” the show is being brought back. It’s a treatment to the show’s power, that even though we as fans know who killed Laura Palmer, we just need more of this fucking place. Shit is far from over. Yeah, the show is weird and quirky, but there’s a lot of that on television now, and Twin Peaks was the seed that blossomed a ton of serialized shows (Lost owes a fucking debt to Lynch and Frost). And while the movie followed only a year after the cancelation, not many people were all too pleased with it, as you’ll find out soon.

Project Almanac Review

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     If you read my Ex Machina review yesterday, you’ll recall that I heaped a ton of praise for being thought provoking and intelligent, what sci fi should be. You won’t be reading that shit this time around. I really wanted to love this movie, no kidding! I wanted it to be this awesome little gem, the time travel movie for this generation, much like Back to the Future was mine. This movie was so disappointing, I fell into a depression.
     Project Almanac starts intriguing enough, through found footage we see how David (Jonny Weston) and his group of friends using his late father’s blueprints to finish building a time machine. Once they do, they use it to secure their financial future, go to a concert, fuck with bullies, and retaking tests to pass school. Actually, that aspect is very realistic. But once Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) enters the picture, love starts to complicate the shit out of things. As always.
     This is one of the few times that I actually watched a movie twice before I reviewed it. It solidified my opinion on the movie. It’s a sad disappointment. Time travel movies are a fucking wealth of rich moral and ethical dilemmas that cause you to question the laws of time and the universe. This film doesn’t dive into that hardly. The rules are not easily established, and there is really nothing new to the table that’s brought in. The movie rips off Timecop (which it does reference) but when you use a rule from Timecop, you’re not even fucking trying!
     The characters are all generic, they play into stock troupes, the genius who’s a heartthrob, the smart sexy girl, the bubbly sister, the Asian guy, and the Miles Teller-reject. Yep, it’s a Platinum Dunes movie (they bastardized your favorite horror movies from your childhood). I just couldn’t feel for the characters, I couldn’t give a fuck, but I tried.
     Watching it the second time around I pinned down the reason the movie was a let down for me: the found footage usage. I get why this is really popular with genre filmmaking: it’s cheap. It has worked for me in Chronicle, but this time around it felt like they used it to cut corners. There’s a scene where the timeline must get restored and using a chalk board to keep track, but unlike Back to the Future Part II, they use jump cuts to speed up the action so we don’t see him work out the timelines. That’s the best part of time travel movies!!! I still get into the Hill Valley Paradox debate with my friends (I shit you not, the Big Bang Theory devoted an episode to it). The fun, the discussion just doesn’t resonate with me. Hell, the movie ends on such a false note, that I thought there was an extra scene during the credits, but to no avail.
     Folks, there’s a lot of movies on this subject. Movies that will make you think, laugh, argue with your friends. Go see those movies. When you have a movie that involves a set up in the past, that doesn’t even think about resolving it, or damn, addressing it. This is standard Doctor Who etiquette! It just felt like this was a movie made by a committee, not a filmmaker. You deserve better than that. The genre deserves better than this.

Ex Machina Review

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     Ex Machina is the reason I love science fiction. Back in the late 60s to the mid 70s, science fiction was a bit of the beacon for expressing ideas and commentary on who we are and where we are as a society. You wouldn’t think it now, but Planet of the Apes fit into this troupe. As much as I do love me some giant robots beating the shit out of each other, I was lamenting the thought provoking sci-fi of yesteryear. Thankfully, Ex Machina is the great throw back to the time of ideas.
     The film centers on a programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) who is invited to participate in an experiment by the head of his company Nathan (Oscar Isaac) to interact with an AI named Ava (Alicia Vikander) to see if it is truly able to feel. Basically, can a robot actually feel, instead of being programmed to feel. Yeah, it a smidge of a mind fuck.
     So, what happens then is just a series of scenes that display whether what is actually being done is ethically, or even morally right. Be warned, this movie is a slow burn, meaning it takes its sweet fucking time. I love that personally. The filmmaker doesn’t treat you like an idiot, he actually let’s you observe, think, and then process what was just said or seen. It’s hard to go into details about the movie itself without getting into spoilers, since that’s when the true themes become apparent.
     Since this is a story about ethics, and not explosions, the performances have to be damn good, and they sure as shit are. Gleeson has the thankless, almost straight man, role echoing a bit of reason into the proceedings. It’s low key and subtle, do it gets the job done. Isaac though has the most fun with his role as the inventor, and is able to restrain himself enough that he comes off a bit too real, so he’s very disturbed. Vikander gives such a unique performance as Ava, where she’s curious yet not like a child though there’s a wonder to her. It’s actually pretty layered. Wow, it’s an amazing performance.
     I get that we’re in the season of sci fi action extravaganza, but don’t you want to take a wee bit of a break from it? Well, here is that sweet, sweet smoke break after an overwhelming shift. It does the mind good, mine is still racing with questions about who were are as a species. It kind of brings to mind since anime’s I’ve seen, Ghost in the Shell in particular. Ex Machina proves that you don’t need frills to tell a compelling story, but themes and characters that bury into your mind. So go see it.

In Defense Of: The Godfather Part III

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I know, I know! Never have I come across such hatred for a film that didn’t involve George Lucas. I’m not going to try to convince you that this installment in the Godfather Trilogy is at least as good as the previous two. It’s not. Not by a fucking long shot. What I do want to touch upon is that the flick doesn’t deserve all the unbridled hatred. It’s not perfect, but it is an engaging and profound piece of work.
I don’t really know what audiences were expecting when The Godfather Part III was released, I was far too young, and in the pre-internet age when it was. But I don’t think people could have anticipated a film about the shady dealings of the Vatican Church, especially one that involves the Mafia. But it’s because of the story that I was so enveloped in its scope. This is around the time of Goodfellas, I can understand a more traditional take on the mob, but here director Francis Ford Coppola goes a more unconventional route, one that is alienating to the fans of the first two films.
I look at the story in this way, which makes it interesting to me, Michael Corleone wants to go legitimate with the family business, so he gets involved with the Vatican. The delicious irony of all this is that the Vatican is more corrupt than the Mafia ever was. In this regard, no matter what Michael does, no matter how hard he tries, he will always bring death and destruction to any vocation. Michael is of the old school way of thinking that you can buy redemption, and holy fuck did he learn that you sure as hell can’t do that.
Before I get into the glaring flaws that come with this film, let’s actually discuss the shit does work. Al Pacino rocks, you know it, I know it. He even manages to deliver some of the most memorable lines in the entire trilogy (the pulled me back in line in particular). The man is a fucking master, especially when it becomes clear that Michael can’t hold on to his empire much longer.

Oh, Andy Garcia. I truly believed he was Sonny’s bastard child. He is     the comic relief, and sociopathic, but hey we like our heroes morally ambiguous. In a movie full of serious, professional characters, here’s a guy who loves to beat the ever loving shit out of people, especially Joey Zaza. You respect that.
The last character I have to bring up is the one that hardly gets mentioned by many people, Connie. Out of all the characters in this epic saga, she is the one that has had an arch comparable to Michael himself. Think back to when you first meet her… Very much a typical Italian housewife; out of sight, out of mind. But after her husband gets murdered by Michael for killing Sonny, she goes down a path of sex and booze. Which is understandable. But in Part III, the woman has become Lady Macbeth. But not to Michael, but to Andy Garcia’s Vincent. It makes sense, Sonny was always the one that tried his best to protect her (shit, it cost him his life) so she feels a duty to protect his son and guide him. Thinking about it, wow. She came really long way from abuse victim to cold blooded manipulator.
OK, time to stop dicking around and discuss Sofia Coppola. She was never, and I mean NEVER, going to win an Oscar. She wasn’t even an actress when she played Mary. I’m saying that she’s not the abomination to acting that everyone made her out to be. She’s not good, and that’s as bad as she is. The girl is really innocent, and sweet. It’s a real contrast to Michael. Admit it, you got a little choked up when she got killed in front of him. We’re all friends here, just admit it. It doesn’t make you an asshole.
While people love using Sofia Coppola as the scapegoat for the movie’s suckage, there’s a deeper problem. One that starts at the writing level. Tom Hagan. Yeah, he needed to be in this movie. He is crucial, especially when seeing the previous entries. I can’t excuse it, Coppola had a lot of behind the scenes problems (given six weeks instead of six months to write the script as an example), but even then, without Tom, you do have to ask, “Well, what’s the point?” Here I can understand the detractors, and it does keep it from feeling like a true sequel to The Godfather.
At the end of the day, I never felt that The Godfather Part III was this horrendous act of filmmaking. It’s flawed, yes. It’s got pacing issues, yes. Questionable performances, you fucking know there are, but that doesn’t shit on a dynasty of films. I just loved the idea of an irredeemable man trying to redeem himself by any means, which damns his soul. Paraphrasing Coppola himself, he felt the story ended with Part II, and this was just the epilogue. He even wanted the movie to be called The Death of Michael Corleone. It’s the only time I can think of that sharing a name with your predecessors can be detrimental to it’s reputation. Much like Mary.

In Defense Of: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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     I never really understood the animosity towards this film, or rather this version of the story. The purpose of this analysis isn’t to say that they’re all wrong, but to look at it from a different prospective. For the sake of full disclosure, I never read the acclaimed novel. I missed that class. But I did see the 1974 version starring Robert Redford, which has got to count for something. I’m looking at this as a movie purely, and not a purist standpoint.
     Let’s get this out of the way immediately so we can get to the awesome nitpicky stuff: the film looks stunning. Even with the use of CGI, which can be quite a bit, gives the movie a fairy tale quality to it. A really sad, fucked up fairy tale, but most of them are. With the energy of the visuals, the bumping sounds of the anachronistic music can suck you into Gatsby’s world, and that one would think, would be enough to see the movie. But there is more that critics and even audiences seem to look past.
     A visually stunning movie is never enough for me personally, I need to get involved with either the characters and/or the story. Would you be shocked that I got involved with both? DiCaprio’s Gatsby is equal parts hopeless romantic and greedy entrepreneur. There is a constant panic in his performance, especially when you see him with a shit eating grin on his face. That’s talent, dear reader. Trust me on this. And I have to prefer DiCaprio’s interpretation of the character over Redford’s version, since my film professor made the great observation that Gatsby is a man who came from poverty to be a part of high society, but that no amount of money could never hide. Redford’s Gatsby always seemed to belong to wealth, so it hinders the themes of the story, and it kept me detached from him as a character. 
     I have to give a whole lot of love to Tobey Maguire’s Nick Carraway. This is a guy who’s truly out of his depth. He’s our eyes into this world and the spectacular exuberance is all reflective in this performance. The true tragedy in this tale, is Nick’s coping with the loss of Gatsby, which in the movie is pretty clearly meant to symbolize his innocence. The writing of the novel, as seen on screen, is a eulogy for the man he once was and could never be again.
     Now we have to get into the one aspect that I thought was a mistake, so this doesn’t appear to be a love fest, and that has to do with Daisy. It’s not what most people assume, I thought Carey Mulligan did just fine, it’s more of an adaptation issue. Going by the 1974 version, Daisy says the line, “Rich girls don’t marry poor boys” a horrifyingly fucked up line that broke my heart. Now, that line is in this 2013 version, but it’s reassigned to a minor, bullshit character as a throwaway line. This is the most minor thing, but left the biggest flaw in the movie. I can understand making Daisy less of a cruel bitch, but it took away the tragic optimism of Gatsby. He didn’t give a shit, he loves her no matter what, and that proved to be his downfall. It’s Shakespearian that way.
     As much as that one minor change pissed me the fuck off, I still was able to connect emotionally to the story, beyond the spectacle and CG, thanks to the anchored performances of DiCaprio and Maguire. You can tell the two characters feed off each other, and that is what leaves you imprinted with at the end of the movie. Look past the visual effects and you’ll see an unfairly mangled movie that deserves your viewing.

Focus Review

     Ah, yes the time honored film about the con artist. A tradition that spans back to the golden age of Hollywood, but it reached its peek with “The Sting”. I mean, that flick won best picture for God’s sake, so there has to be something to it, right? Well, like a con, they can’t all be fucking winners, and Will Smith’s “Focus” sure as shit didn’t even place.
     Nicky (Will Smith) is a grifter who comes across Jess (Margot Robbie) and he starts to teach her the tools of the trade.  But once they come across a mark they didn’t anticipate, it begins to affect them.
     Actually thinking back on this movie, I really dug the first half. Showing how certain cons work, the preparation that goes into them, all that jazz. But it’s the second half that the movie becomes this clichéd mess where there seems to be something set up, but the pay off never comes. I guess that I hate it when a smart, calculated character is set up only to devolve into a fucking idiot in the latter part of the film with no actual warning. It is a small nitpick on my part.
     All con artist films have what is know as their long cons, a con running through an entire film to pay off at the end as a shock, surprise, or a twist. It is a bit formulaic, but that’s what I look forward to in these movies. “Focus” was the first one that made me go, “That’s it? Really? Does that even count?” “Matchstick Men” was the last movie that had a con so devastating that I could hear my heart break. I heard it fucking break!! That’s what needs to be strived for, we need to care that much.
     I guess in the grand scheme of things I shouldn’t have expected much. I really wanted to love this, but I can’t in good conscience get behind a movie that is by, all accounts, lazy. And if you have ever seen “The Sting”, you know that lazy won’t pass muster.

Mad Max Fury Road Review

     Cinema has always had it’s fair share of mythic figures, primarily The Man With No Name, but very few have existed in our contemporary times. This thought process when through my mind watching “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Everyone from people in the media, to actual friends have asked if this is a sequel or a reboot. I say it’s both, and neither.
     “Fury Road” is a post-apocalyptic action movie where both water and gasoline are high commodities. Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is leading a group of pregnant women away from their sadistic leader to The Green Place. Max (Tom Hardy) is a drifter who just happened to get caught up in the proceedings. What then follows is a feature length chase scene through the desert. That’s it. It’s Mad Max.
     Do you remember how much you loved the “The Road Warrior” yet hated “Beyond Thunderdome”? Well this installment fixes all of the stuff you hatred. This is truly chaos on the silver screen. All the action is done with practical effects. Which means cars are actually crashing, guys are suspended by beams, and yes, there is a guy playing a guitar that shoots flames.
     Yes, that actually happens.
     If you managed to grow up throughout the 80s and 90s, then there’s a high chance you came across the Mad Max trilogy, and unlike some other fourth installments of former trilogies, this exceeds the expectations set forth by those previous films. Look, Mel Gibson is Mad Max. Always will be, but Hardy now approaches him differently. To the people curious to the series, I say watch ” The Road Warrior” and you’ll get an idea of what to expect. For the rest of us fans, who know how insane it can get, then come on back.
     But as much as went apeshit over all the lunacy, I was also drawn in on how they handled Max this time around. Well, since I mentioned it earlier, it is neither and yet, both a sequel and a reboot. I see Max now as the mythic figure he became at the end of ” The Road Warrior “. He’s the one figure that people tell stories about, that whisper his name, and even inspire hope. “Fury Road” is just another story that is being told to us. Another tale of the legendary Mad Max.